July 2, 2021
Kitten in the Clover
By: Sharon Bazant
One especially beautiful summer evening, Coral is happily gathering plants for a wildflower salad. White Clover (Trifolium repens) covers the meadows and fields at Rennwood Farm and makes a perfect summer meal for a hungry little mouse.
Coral gathers enough for supper and for the next day’s breakfast! White Clover is not native to Minnesota or even to North America. It came from Europe, Asia, and Africa but has been planted by farmers all over the world as a crop for animals to eat.
Cows, sheep, horses, goats, and many other farm animals enjoy eating the nutritious clover all summer long.
This kitten is alone and terrified. Coral gently pats her on the head. She knows that kittens do not often wander far from their home or their littermates when they are this small. Possibly the little kitten was running after a butterfly or a grasshopper and became lost in the field, unsure of what to do next.
However it happened, she needs her mother to find her and lead her back home.
Kittens are born blind and helpless, completely dependent on their mother for everything. Domestic cats (Felis catus) make exceptionally good mothers. They protect their kittens, move them to safe areas, nurse them, clean them, and later bring them food and teach them to hunt.
Kittens need to stay with their mother and their littermates for at least 8-10 weeks (or longer!) to grow into healthy, well-adjusted adult cats.
She looks at Coral as if to say, “Where is my mother? When will she come for me?”
Coral turns to scan the meadow as the sun gets lower in the sky. She is confident the mother cat will be by soon.
Sure enough! In a matter of moments, Coral spots the sleek black fur of the mother cat walking in the distance.
She taps the kitten gently, turning her in the right direction. “There’s your mother,” she indicates with a gesture.
The kitten scuttles quickly toward her waiting mom. She’ll soon be with her brothers and sisters, cuddled up for a restful evening nap.
Coral waves good-bye, ready for home and that delicious wildflower supper. It’s been another full day and an evening of excitement, but there’s nothing like home when all’s said and done.
Goodnight, Coral, until the next adventure!
~ Have you ever seen kittens when they are still very tiny?
~ Does your family have a pet cat? If not, would you like to have one someday?
~ What is one pet you would like to someday own?
Resources to explore:
~ Learn more about White Clover.